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It is at the Ardenne High School, at the age of twelve, that Hugh Mundell starts writing his first lyrics and singing. Mundell's older sister Joanna is astudent at the Excelsior High School along with a host of other youths from the neighborhood, including Wayne Wade, Winston McAnuff, and Earl Daley (Earl Sixteen). Mundell strikes up a friendship with the three youths and they are often seen hanging in and around the Mundell house. As Winston McAnuff recalls "the Mundell family lived in the house opposite to that of my sister, with whom I lived at the time. Wayne lived the next house down from Mundell." It isn't at all strange that the youths show an early interest in music, as the reggae music coming from "down a yaad" was the reigning newspaper of the day to Jamaican youths, who exhibited little interest in the rumours and hearsay published in the politically-influenced Star, Daily News, and Gleaner. The boys spend their class time writing lyrics and arranging the next hit tunes in their head while the teacher drones on about white English writers and poets with names like Keating and Yeats. "From when I was about 12 or 13 years of age I started writing lyrics in school and I was also living in an avenue with two artists - Wayne Wade and Winston - and we used to play and sing together taking turns" explains Mundell in a November 1980 interview with Sounds magazine's Edwin Pouncey. "So as from a youth I used to love singing in front of an audience and I would admire the singers around." Mundell delves a bit deeper into his roots as a singer in an interview with Penny Reel, published in Black Echoes, November 8, 1980: “From I'm a youth,very young, I say I love to sing, do some singing out there. I used to love singing from a youth and my father love singing. My mommy sing and wash. More time me used to pick up the habit, not really the habit, the vibration of singing. I used to take in some stage shows and say, 'boy one day I like deh deh so an have the mic in front of an audience and let them know what's going down. When I start going to school now, high school, I start write my own lyrics. I used to sing my own lyrics. I used to write and I used to sing in what them call a soul way, but when I really check it that wasn't the right way. I say boy, me come from Jamaica, me shoulda really make some reggae music, cultural music, my own yard music. Also among Pablo started jamming little reggae and thing. I say that is the kind of music I reaaly have to go into.'' “A great, great, great day that would be. So long you have look in the sky, Too late shall be your cry, yea-yea.” Hugh Mundell, “Jah Fire Will Be Burning” One of those aspiring singers, Wayne Wade, is the first to gain access to the tightly controlled recording studios, laying down his first track during his senior year at Excelsior titled "Black Is Our Colour" for producer Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson's Prophets label in 1976. His debut album, Black Is Our Colour is released in 1976, and is followed by further hits with cover versions of The Paragons' "Happy Go Lucky Girl" and "On the Beach.” It is actually through Mundell’s friendship with McAnuff and family friend Boris Gardiner that he is able to break into the business in 1975. In early 1975, record producer Joe Gibbs set up a new studio and record pressing plant at Retirement Crescent and started working with sound engineer Errol Thompson,

Great tribulation the life and times of hugh mundell